Starfleet Marine Corps

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Danlav05, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There was this single agent from "Federation Security", yes - delivering McCoy straight to a Starfleet gaol!

    If anything, I'd count that as a further strike against the existence of a civilian police force in the Federation. They have this Secret Service or whatnot, yes, but it appears to have nothing to do with everyday policing.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I figure this guy usually works the lobby downtown at the Federation Building, checking ID's. Starfleet security was short handed and asked him to walk across the street to the bar and bring McCoy back.

    Basically, he's a mall cop.


    :)
     
  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Thing is, a lot of the timeit simply slows the plot down too much if everyone on the show is intelligent. So for the sake of the plot, all bad guys, or at the very least anyone who isn't a main character has to be overwhelmingly incompetant. The audience wants entertainment, not realism. Realism is boring.

    The main reason the MACOs were shows to be competant was because that was their purpose, they were meant to be the ultimate unbeatable ass kicking squad.

    Well, those guys had coloured stripes on their uniforms indicating they were't all security. There were command and science officers mixed in as well. Logically, since these were combat situations everyone was required to get into combat gear fight the enemy, regardless of their specialities. Just like in the actual military.
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    If a United States Navy Commander were delivered to Quantico Marine Corps Brig, does that preclude him from having been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

    The detention agency doesn't imply anything about the arresting agency.

    Actually seeing a civilian police agency engaging in policing actions is a strike against their existence?

    Strange world you live in.

    That may have been the original intent, but that changed over time. And even at the start, the Federation was never quite just an alliance -- alliances don't get their own dedicated military like Starfleet. There's no such thing as the United Nations Army, after all.

    NATO is just a puppet of the United States, and the United Nations is the puppet of the P-5. Neither one is capable of the kinds of sovereign political actions we have seen the Federation engage in.

    Also:

    The word you are looking for is "sovereign state," not "nation-state."

    A nation-state is a sovereign state explicitly designed to encompass the territory and citizenry of a nation -- and no, "nation" is not a synonym for "country" or "sovereign state." A nation is actually a large group of people sharing a common culture, language, and imagined history.

    Thus, a nation-state is when a sovereign state is designed for a nation -- the French Republic for the French nation; the Kingdom of Norway for the Norwegian nation; etc. Some nations have no states -- the Kurdish nation is quite real but there is no Republic of Kurdistan. And some states encompass multiple nations -- the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland compasses the English, Scottish, Welsh, and (part of) Irish nations. Etc.

    The Federation is clearly a multinational sovereign state.
     
  5. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    Sci, you are of course correct on the terminilogy. I also read the post you linked. Nice analysis of the situation, though I do not necessarily agree with all of your conclusions. However, it is clear that the Federation has become more unified and the central authority getting more power over the years (both real years and fiction years). This makes perfect sense to me.

    Star Trek has always been focused on Starfleet, a federal institution, and we get much less information how things work outside of it. I'd assume there to be all sorts of political struggles going on between the member worlds that we never hear about. Even though UFP is has clearly more powerful federal institutions than EU, I still feel that EU is a better analogy for it than US. All these different worlds with different histories and applying for the membership reminds me of EU.

    Also, it is true that the Federation Council seems to have a lot of power, but we know very little of how it is elected and how it operates. If for example it has appointed representatives from each member world and decisions that would introduce binding new laws on the member worlds would require unanimous vote, then in practice the Federation could not impose laws on its members against their will.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  6. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    But why would Pressman name drop Starfleet Security and the Admiral heading it up if Security didn't have some sort of oversight in the matter?

    Later we have this exchange

    Are Intelligence and Security basically the same Department in Starfleet?
     
  7. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    Sci, one more thing about the old thread (I do not want to resurrect an years old thread.) Federation president might be elected by the council rather than by a popular election. There certainly are countries where it works like that. For example, the German president is elected by Federal Convention, which is composed of the German parliament and state electors.
     
  8. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    @ Santa - is it possible that intelligence is a subdivision of security?
     
  9. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    That was my thought as well.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Of course the main problem with that idea is the dialog actually used in the episodes.

    In the 23rd century (according to Kirk in TOS) the Federation is an "alliance."
    In the 26th century (according to Daniels in ENT) the Federation is an "alliance."

    The Federation is never once directly referred to as either a "sovereign state," or even a "State." It is (again) twice directly called an alliance. The governing body of the Federation, the Council, is never once referred to as a Legislature, or a Parliament, or a Congress.

    NATO however does have a Parliament. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly consists of 257 delegates from the 28 NATO member countries. The Chairman of the American Delegation is Congressman Mike Turner, a representative from Ohio.

    NATO isn't a "sovereign state." Nor is it exactly like the Federation of course, but both NATO and the Federation are forms of alliances. And yes yes yes there are numerous differences between the two alliances..

    The Federation is clearly not a multinational sovereign state.

    :)
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you for your kind words, Longinus!

    I would suggest that culturally, the Federation is more akin to the European Union, but that in terms of its political structures, the Federation is more akin to the United States or Canada.

    For what it's worth, the novels have established that each Federation Member State retains a single Federation Councillor, to be chosen in such manner as that Member State shall determine. The full Federation Council is then presided over by the Federation President, who appoints Federation Councillors to each of the various committes (called "sub-councils") with the consent of the full Council. An Act of Council requires the President's signature to become law, and can be vetoed by the President. The President may preside over sessions of the sub-councils, and is expected to work closely with the relevant sub-councils on a given issue. So the relationship between the President and Council is a sort of combination of the U.S. President-Congress relationship and the U.K. Prime Minister-Parliament relationship.

    The novels are of course non-canonical and may be superseded by later canonical works. But that unless Star Trek Into Darkness contains an extended sequence where Spock muses on the inner workings of the Federation Council, that seems unlikely. ;)

    This is possible, but I think the canonical evidence suggests it is implausible. It would, for instance, be nigh-impossible to coordinate the governments of 150+ worlds in a timely fashion during a foreign policy crisis if each had a veto over the Acts of Council; that would make things like the Federation Council's decision to condemn the Klingon invasion of the Cardassian Union in 2372 (DSN: "The Way of the Warrior") nearly impossible to reach. Similarly, there's no evidence that the Federation government obtained instructions from any of its Member governments during the Khitomer conspiracy crisis in Star Trek VI, when it decided to conclude a peace treaty.

    Well, the thing is, the President of the United Federation of Planets isn't really analogous to the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. The German Presidency is mostly ceremonial; as with most parliamentary systems, the head of state is not the head of government. Real power lives with the Chancellor. The Federation President, on the other hand, has been seen demonstrating his power as head of government in addition to head of state; it was President Ra-ghoratreii who decided whether or not the Federation would invade Klingon space to rescue Kirk and McCoy in TUC, for instance, and President Jaresh-Inyo who decided to declare a de facto state of martial law on Earth in DSN's "Homefront."

    The term for a head of government chosen by the legislature rather than by popular election is "Prime Minister." The only government I can think of off the bat where a head of government is also the head of state and is chosen by the legislature is South Africa -- and the South African President is only chosen by the Parliament because the modern presidency is a direct descendent of the former South African Prime Ministership. South Africa is very much unusual in that regard.

    So if the Federation head of government were chosen by the Council, that presents the question of why it's called President of the United Federation of Planets rather than Prime Minister of the United Federation of Planets (or Chancellor, or Taoiseach, or Premier, or First Minister, or any of the other terms for a head of government who is not head of state). It's not impossible, but I also think it presents an unanswered question.

    In one episode where he's simplifying things for aliens.

    In which episode?

    Meanwhile, the fact of the matter is that the Federation is shown to possess all of the powers and to enact all of the powers of a sovereign state. Alliances can't put their members under de facto martial law, nor declare war, nor give up sovereign territory to a foreign state, nor enact domestic legislation, nor possess sovereign territory, nor possess their own militaries (with their own courts-martial), nor have their own regular systems of courts.

    Is a consultative interparliamentary organization, not a parliament in its own right. It brings together MPs from different countries to foster awareness of one-another's parliamentary systems and cultures, to help foster unity within the alliance. It is, in other words, the parliamentary equivalent of a Rotary Club. It is not a parliament, does not possess its own MPs, and cannot pass any laws.
     
  12. timmy84

    timmy84 Commodore Commodore

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    I guess the Starfleet Ground Combat and Operations Division (you did say I can call them whatever I wanted ;) ) only briefly existed during the fleet build up when tensions with the Klingons were on the rise.

    :borg:
     
  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    For whatever it's worth, those Starfleet troops in DSN: "Nor the Battle to the Strong" and DSN: "The Seigh of AR-558" were in the novels identified as regular troops wearing a type of uniform called "SOBs" -- Surface Operations, Black.
     
  14. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    I do not think it is necessarily wise to make too direct analogies with modern forms of government to an interplanetary organisation in hundreds of years in future. It will by necessity work pretty differently. For example I really don't think that the title of the leader really tells us much about his or her duties or the menthod of election.

    In any case I believe that UFP started as a looser UN or EU like alliance and over the years the union grew tighter. The president probably started out as a Secretary General like figure.
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, it's almost certainly a looser federal union than modern governments, sure. But we've seen it possess and exercise all of the same powers of a sovereign state -- powers that the European Union and other alliances just do not possess.

    If anything, that should be the one area that is most instructive. There are enough different terms for heads of state and government that we should be able to infer the duties and methods of the Federation's leader intended by the Federation's founders. It makes no sense to presume they'd call it one thing when it's actually another.

    Well, the most I can say canonically is that the bio screen in "In A Mirror, Darkly, Part II" said that Jonathan Archer served as President of the Federation in 2184, not Secretary-General of the United Federation of Planets.

    I agree that the Federation probably gained more centralized authority over the course of time, though.
     
  16. Longinus

    Longinus Captain Captain

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    It is quite possible that the UFP president was originallly the President of the Federation Council. The President of European Council is often referred as 'President of EU' both in casual conversation and media.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It is possible, but there is no evidence indicating such. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home simply establishes the office's full name to be President of the United Federation of Planets.
     
  18. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just my two cents, but I think that while you might not be able to cross-train a security officer to be a soldier, you could cross-train a soldier to be a security officer. Otherwise you got a bunch of guys on your starship sitting around with their thumbs up their butts waiting for some action, and getting pretty antsy whilst doing so. This was kind of the situation in "Enterprise", but that was understandable due to the emergency nature of the circumstances that brought them on the ship in the first place. I can see a need for a "Quick-reaction" force along with, say the Voyager taskforce described in recent novels when you need a job done that regular security types wouldn't be up to.
     
  19. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Paraphrasing...
    ...Maybe the terms 'Starfleet' and 'Marines' are mutually inclusive.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  20. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk was speaking to to an representative of a technological space-fairing society, not a caveman.

    How would it be simplifying things to use a term that was incorrect? Kirk's "I speak for a vast alliance ..." could have easily been replaced with simply (if he want to simplify things) the phrase "vast state." For Kirk to use the term alliance, if the Federation were not one, could have caused problems with any future relationship with the Melkot.

    Speaking with the Melkot in first contact, Kirk accurately referred to the Federation as an alliance.

    Azati Prime, when Archer asks Daniels directly about the Federation, Daniels refers the the species of the Federation being "... all unified in a powerful alliance."

    Not a powerful interstellar state.

    Alliances can't put their members under de facto martial law
    On the world where the Federation government was only. Special case.

    When Betazed was invaded, we heard nothing of martial law being declared on that planet by the Federation President, which would have been an obvious action. if the President could do it on any of the member worlds.

    If the state of Maine were invaded, one of the first thing the US Congress would do is declare martial law in the state. But, they do possess this power.

    (Article I, Section 8, Clause 15, of the US Constitution, Congress [can] provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union ...)

    nor declare war
    While the Federation has engaged in warfare many times, neither the Federation Council, nor the President, has never been seen (or heard) to declared war.

    nor give up sovereign territory to a foreign state
    The strip of territory between the Federation and the Cardassians was contested territory that the two groups were fight over possession of, it wasn't "sovereign territory" for either until after they agreed to divide it up.

    nor enact domestic legislation
    Oh God, are you talking about the speed limit thing again? Recently my parent's home owner association set a speed limit on a nearby lake.

    nor possess sovereign territory

    The multiple territories of the various sovereign members of the Federation, plus additional territorial claims by the alliance.

    nor possess their own militaries

    Providing for a common defense would be one of the primary reasons for forming a alliance in the first place.

    So, the Federation possessing all of the powers of a sovereign state, and to enact all of the powers of a sovereign state, no.

    :)